THE INTERNATIONAL CHAMPIONSHIP OF COLLEGIATE

A CAPPELLA

DEAR FRIENDS,

 

Welcome to Varsity Vocals’ 24th season! Our enthusiasm for the art of a cappella is greater than ever after almost a quarter century of presenting the best student groups on stage and in the studio.

Our tournaments have grown from a handful of events to the massive showcase they are today, featuring more than 660 groups and more than 10,000 singers at 90 events across North America and the United Kingdom.

Our original tournament inspired the hit movie "Pitch Perfect," based on the nonfiction book documenting the true story of rival groups competing against each other in our very own ICCA. The "Pitch Perfectfranchise remains the highest-grossing musical series of all time.

The stories of our real ICCA competitors were also the subject of the TV docu-series "Sing It On," which followed competing groups on their journey to ICCA Finals. "Sing It On" aired in 80 million homes on POP TV and enjoyed a long stay on Netflix.

Despite the incredible growth and mainstream popularity we’ve enjoyed, our focus remains sharply on the promotion and development of the talent that crosses our stage. We believe competition fosters growth, as groups work together toward a specific goal and cultivate lifelong friendships. 

We provide top-notch feedback from our highly qualified judges – but more importantly, our singers get to connect with a larger audience from across the country, learning from their peers and finding inspiration in other groups.

With those same goals in mind, we were thrilled to launch the International Championship of A Cappella Open three years ago. “The Open” (#AcaOpen) is an all-access a cappella tournament that brings together singers of all ages, regardless of student status, to compete on an international stage for a chance at $25,000. Its fourth season will kick off this summer.

We hope that over the years, The Open will encourage the growth of professional a cappella, much in the way the ICCA helped catapult competitive a cappella into the mainstream in "Pitch Perfect" and "Sing It On," or how the development of the ICHSA contributed to the rapid growth of high school a cappella programs across the country. 

This is the biggest program extension in our long history, and we think it’s a natural one. After all, our founding goal was “to inspire young people to sing their entire lives.” If we want people to keep singing past the age of 22, well, they’re going to need a stage, right? 

We have seen a cappella make great strides from where it began on our stage 24 years ago, and we can’t wait to see where our 2020 season will take us. Committed to promoting our singers and energized by the great music they create, we look forward to another memorable season. Thank you for joining us!

Sincerely,

Amanda Newman
Executive Director

ICCA SOUTHWEST QUARTERFINAL

 

University of Nebraska
Saturday, January 25th, 2020

WE'RE SOCIAL

 

We're talking about this event, and all of our events around the world!

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Follow us @varsityvocals on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and Snapchat, and join the conversation using #ICCA and #ICHSA.

ABOUT VARSITY VOCALS

 

Since 1996, we have encouraged students worldwide to sing a cappella throughout their lives. Our programs include the International Championship of Collegiate A Cappella (ICCA), the International Championship of High School A Cappella (ICHSA), and the International Championship of A Cappella Open (The Open). We also annually produce The Best of College A Cappella (BOCA) and The Best of High School A Cappella (BOHSA) compilation albums.

Our a cappella competitions give top-notch a cappella groups the opportunity to showcase their talents for an international audience and to take home valuable feedback from our qualified judges. This year, competing groups will appear in venues all around the world, offering their energetic musical performances for your enjoyment.

The college tournament takes place from January through April in nine regions across the country and around the world. Each region holds anywhere from four to five Quarterfinals, and the top groups from each Quarterfinal advance to the Semifinal. The winning group at each Semifinal is named Regional Champion and advances to the ICCA Finals at The Town Hall in New York City on Saturday, April 18th.

The high school tournament is now in its 15th year and continues to grow every year. We are now holding Quarterfinal rounds in all of our regions, and the 2020 season will feature the largest high school tournament field in our history. The winners of each of seven Semifinal rounds will advance to the ICHSA Finals at The Town Hall in New York City on Saturday, April 17th.

The Open Tournament celebrated its third year in summer 2019 and featured six Semifinals that lead to the Open Finals featuring those six Regional Champions, two Wild Card Champions, and our 2019 ICHSA and ICCA Champions. Those 10 groups competed in October 2019 at Carnegie Hall in New York City.



 For a full tournament schedule, visit us at 
www.varsityvocals.com/events

ABOUT TONIGHT'S SHOW

 

The performance order was determined by random draw this afternoon and will be announced from stage.        

Tonight’s performers will be evaluated on elements of their vocal and visual performance, which carry numerical weight. The highest and lowest score from the individual judges will be dropped for each group. Our judges may recognize exceptional performances with special awards as they see fit.

There will be a 15-minute intermission. After the final group has performed, a guest performer will entertain you while the scores are tabulated.

Because each group only has 12 minutes to perform, we ask you to keep your applause to an enthusiastic minimum between songs. Please feel welcome to applaud as much as you want after each group has finished its set.

Videotaping and non-flash photography for personal use is permitted during the concert, so long as you do not disrupt our performers or other patrons. Due to licensing regulations, we do not provide a video or audio recording of this performance.

TONIGHT'S COMPETITORS

 

Audacity A Cappella is K-State's one and only all-female a cappella group! Established in 2015, the group is excited to celebrate its five-year anniversary this February! The group is made up of girls from many different majors. Audacity A Cappella performs across campus for student groups, community organizations, and more. Some of their annual gigs include Christmas caroling and singing valentines around Manhattan and in the surrounding communities! 

Established in 2002, The Bathtub Dogs reside in Lincoln, Neb. and affiliate with the University of Nebraska–Lincoln. When they’re not in classes, The Dogs perform on campus and all across the state and region. The Bathtub Dogs currently has six studio albums, including their most recent release, Write That Down, which was made available last year. The group’s song selection changes about as often as the weather in Nebraska (which is a lot, in case you didn't know). They sing a variety of musical styles, including pop, rock, jazz, secular and non-secular holiday, musical theatre, and even the occasional EDM. That's right, Aunt Judy, if you're looking for EDM, you're in luck! In choosing songs for their repertoire, The Dogs most value unique musical quality, audience popularity, relevance, and most importantly, entertainment value. 

Cadence A Cappella is the only all-male a cappella group at Kansas State University! Ever since their founding in 1998, the group has specialized in making three things: good music, good memories, and even better friendships. They are a very versatile group, with men from every class and many different majors, including education, engineering, graphic design, and more! The group makeup changes annually, due to graduating seniors and incoming freshmen. Cadence members sing everything from doo-wop and ballads, to country and musical scores. Cadence is a fun, energetic, and entertaining all-male ensemble that loves any and every opportunity to sing! For the past 21 years, Cadence has had a blast singing for local Greek life, other student organizations, the Kansas State Athletic Department, independent businesses throughout Kansas, and sometimes venturing to events across state lines. 

The Creightones is Creighton University's premier all-male a cappella ensemble. Formed in 2009, this undergraduate group strives to create beautiful and interesting music for the enjoyment of Creighton and the surrounding Omaha area. They are a strong group of around 12-14 dedicated members that hope to impress more than just their families at this year's ICCA. Get Toned! 

Crimson and Blues is KU’s newest a cappella group! In just three years, C&B has earned awards, including Outstanding Soloist and a 3rd place title at ICCA competitions. They are excited to show everyone what they’ve been working so hard on all year! 

In the Stairwell is the United States Air Force Academy's all-male a cappella group. In the Stairwell was founded in 2003 by a group of freshmen cadets, but due to freshman cadet restrictions, they could only meet and perform in the dormitory stairwells. Throughout the past decade, the group has performed at a variety of social events, including an invitation to the White House and opening a session of the Colorado State Senate. In the Stairwell competed in ICCA for the first time in 2016, and a video of their performance caught the attention of the producers of NBC’s “America’s Got Talent.” This blossomed into an incredible run in the 2017 season of the hit show, where In the Stairwell made it through to the live Semifinals. In the Stairwell members also participate in a number of academic, athletic, and military activities and will ultimately be commissioned as Second Lieutenants in the United States Air Force upon graduation. 

Pitch Please is a University of Nebraska-Lincoln co-ed a cappella group. They are in their seventh year on campus and have worked to grow in their presence within the a cappella community. Just like the array of musical genres that they perform, the members come from a variety of majors, including but not limited to, music education, business, engineering, and nursing. The group rehearses two nights a week and is entirely student-led. Each member has their own unique passion for the group and music as a whole, and that passion, combined with wonderful friendships, motivates the group to move forward. They are incredibly thankful for each performance opportunity and every chance to share their hard work. 

Shockappella at Wichita State University is the school’s only competitive cappella group. This year, they’re taking a trip back in time to one of the best eras in history: the 90s! They will be showing you how awkward high school might be for some newbies at their first dance. Sometimes you just need to tell everyone to "shut up and dance!" 

The Red Keys is the newest co-ed a cappella club at The University of Nebraska-Lincoln. It was established in 2017 by two freshmen who were inspired to create a group that could welcome students across different majors. The group seeks to bring people together with different voices, personalities, majors, and backgrounds, who need  a musical platform to showcase their talent. The founders’ stated mission is “music and sharing it with as many people as possible.”' Now into their sixth semester, they have performed and hosted two of their own showcases, performed at over 15 gigs, and have recorded two songs. You can find who they are in their music, which is uniquely them. Being one of the newest groups has not deterred any of their efforts. Through The Red Keys, they have formed a family of people who never would have met without their mutual love for music. They  believe that they have formed a foundation to help the present group grow and form a legacy at the University of Nebraska for years to come.

TONIGHT'S JUDGES

 

Daniel Fister is a doctoral candidate at Washington University in St. Louis studying musicology. He earned his undergraduate degree at Chapman University in vocal performance and music history and his master’s degree at University of Cincinnati’s College-Conservatory of Music in music history. He has presented and written on collegiate a cappella, musical theatre, and other American music. Before his life as an academic, he directed, sang, and arranged for Wilsonville High School’s Soul’d Out, leading them to the 2010 ICHSA Finals, and went on to participate just as actively in Chapman University’s SoundCheck, with whom he competed regularly in ICCA and directed the production of their debut album, Everything (2012). He remains involved in a cappella as a judge and arranger. 

After singing in choirs since elementary school, Alli Jakubek entered the world of a cappella in her freshman year at the University of Mary Washington. She joined the co-ed a cappella group, The One Note Stand, in which she sang alto and was a frequent soloist for her four years there. When Alli began with the group, they had never performed at the ICCA, and she led the group’s effort to compete in 2017 and 2018, helping them reach 3rd place at their  Mid-Atlantic Quarterfinal in Washington, D.C. After graduation, Alli became affiliated with Cut Off Studios, where she coordinates and teaches at educational events. She has worked as a clinician for two years and specializes in helping groups find their identity, both musically and literally. 

Luke Thomas has a B.S and a M.A. from Missouri State University. During his time at Missouri State, he sang in the Missouri State University Chorale, touring the United States, South Africa, Scandinavia, China, and more. Luke was also a part of the all-male a cappella group, The Beartones, from 2014-2018, and served as the group’s business director, brand manager, choreographer, and president. During his time with The Beartone, Luke received three separate awards for Outstanding Choreography, and led the group to ICCA Finals in 2018. Most recently, Luke served as a production assistant with Varsity Vocals where he aided in producing shows, working social media, and running the current website. Currently, he works full-time at Missouri State University as an instructor and advisor. He is very happy to stay connected with the ICCA and be back as a judge.

SPECIAL THANKS

 

Varsity Vocals would like to recognize and thank our judges, hosts, competitors, volunteers, partners, and producers; and you, the audience, for supporting Varsity Vocals programming.

Amanda Newman
 Executive Director

Dave Rabizadeh
 ICCA Director

Andrea Poole
 ICHSA Director

Lucy Jacobs
The Open Director
 ICCA West Producer

Andrew Poole
 Director of Digital Media

Erica Tackett
 Director of Marketing & Social Strategy

Emily Flanders
Director of Adjudication
 ICCA Great Lakes Producer

Emily Sucher
 Director of Publications

Patty Floyd
 Accountant

Virginia DeMoss
 Album Production Coordinator

Sara Yood
Senior Producer

Courtney Jensen
 Associate Producer

Holli Kitching
ICCA Mid-Atlantic Producer

Lindsay Howerton-Hastings
 ICCA South Producer

Leah Alrutz
 ICCA Midwest Producer

Bronwyn Jensen
 ICCA Southwest Producer

Gemma Davies
 ICCA United Kingdom Producer

Christopher Witham
 ICCA United Kingdom Producer

Holly Hayes
 ICCA Northeast Producer

Arvin Zabalerio
ICCA Central Producer

Elise Hackl
PA/MA Program Coordinator  
ICHSA Great Lakes, Midwest, & Southwest Producer

Matt Shirer
 ICHSA West Producer

Jillian Kimberlin
 ICHSA Mid-Atlantic Producer

Evan Powers
 ICHSA South Producer

Nicole Kohlweiss
 ICHSA Northeast Producer

OUR TEAM

 

We have an amazing team of people who work tirelessly to make our programs so valuable for our singers and audiences alike — and they all do it while holding down full-time day jobs, too! 

 

The top two placing groups will advance to the 2020 ICCA Southwest Semifinal.

BRING THE HARMONY HOME

 

Find your favorite groups on The Best of College A Cappella (BOCA) and The Best of High School A Cappella (BOHSA), available for purchase on Apple Music and Amazon Music!

VIEW ALBUMS

varsityvocals

THE OPEN

 

The International Championship
of A Cappella Open

ARE YOU READY?


FALL 2020